The Demon King

With a squelching sigh, Larna’s wooden boat came to rest on the wet sand of the cliff-enclosed beach. Twinges of fear made her spine shudder and her body was weak with anticipation. The sky was a deep smoky crimson, and boulders sailed like asteroid fields through the air, defying all laws of gravity.
The puppets strings were broken and the puppet master’s work remained unfinished. Larna climbed a narrow path out of the cliffs and gazed on to the ruins of Kjer’stagg city on the horizon.
Outside the city stood a collosal gate, it stood thousands of feet tall, with looks like that of an elaborate church. The Levisstirr had already opened a gate into the realm of man. The fel power of the demons engulfed the planet, choking and killing it. Cities burned and great chasms opened in the floor. The battle was soon to be lost, and the gate had not even opened yet.
It did not take the woman long to reach the city. Stretching for miles, millions of soldiers stood amassed outside of the gate. Each soldier, though dressed the same, each bore their own unique look of pain. Beyond those gates was a world of twisted hatred and psychotic dreams of domination.
Not far into the crowd sat the Queen on her white armoured hourse. A shining helmet sat upon her head and a silver sword stood stiff and sleek in her armoured fist. Larna approached the Queen and addressed herself.
“Fryst is dead.” She began, and then explained the true menace and his links to Kordan.
“Is that so” the queen said with a defeated sigh “That would explain our unknown leader.”
“leader?” Larne said, following the Queens pointing finger to a man who stood upon a rocky outcrop with two swords drawn and outstreched. The man stood still, staring on at the gate before them.
“Kordan?” she said, a startled jolt prickling her skin.
“A demon can only be killed by one he loves…or another demon. If his form is destroyed, he will resurrect, reknewed. Go, speak with him…and do not trust him, the blood of our enemy flows in his veins.”
Larna was dismissed and promptly ran to the outcrop. As she ran, a chasm opened in the distance and swallowed several hundreds troops, their screams muffled by the roaring of thunder born of red lightning.
The man stood young and proud, he was scarless and his hair was tied neatly into a ponytail. He looked down at her and she was certain and faint smile brushed his face. She clambered up next to him and looked on at the gate by his side.
“Did you know?” she asked him.
“I’m not sure…I had spent so much of my life in denial, I think I believed my own lies. All this time I fought for survival against common beasts, when I could never truly be killed. Maybe this time, maybe this battle will end me.” Kordan said in the same gravel grinding voice.
“So you will fight with us?” Larna asked.
“I have always envied humanity…I had almost managed to create my own humanity within the confines of this black demon heart. I like to think I have become somewhat human in my years in your world…I had come here in that Levisstirr invasion that took the queen.”
“I see” Larna replied quietly.
“But I will fight with the ferocity of a demon…with the heart of a man. And the living men of this planet will band together at these gates to defend everything they have. They will fight for their family…they will fight for their land and their freedom. Most of all, they will fight to win.”
“What do you want me to do?” Larna asked him
“What every other living creature on this planet is doing…take up arms and kill whatever comes through that gate”
The girl leapt from the outcrop and ran to join the ranks of soldiers behind Kordan. The demon hero watched on eagerly as the gates slowly opened, red smoke pouring from the widening gap. The air became cold and the soldiers slowly stepped back.
“Prepare yourself!” Kordan roared, rallying the scared soldiers. “From those gates will storm the demon armies. If we do not fight with the vigour of a true warrior, we will surely perish under their might. This is our world…we fight on our home ground. Tonight! Our future is inscribed on the blades of our swords!”
The crowd cheered and legions of dark hulking creatures, slightly taller than men, in black armour rushed through the immense gate. The rumble of thudding boots on splitting Earth filled the air like the net of red lighting above them.
The two armies met with a deafening roar, millions of swords clashed through armour and met flesh. Thousands quickly fell on either side. Kordan remained on the rock as the armies swirled in eddies like raging blood filled rapids. Then he spotted him, marching through the gate. Veroth towered at the height of ten people tall. His scaly grey skin burned with rage and sick enthusiasm. Ram like horns curled from the sides of his skull and his black pointed teeth roared and raged to the gaze of mad yellow eyes.
Like a family re-union in the fires of hell, their eyes met, a father son relationship bound with chains of hatred of anger. Veroth stomped madly towards Kordan, trampling his own men as he did so. The mountain child stood calm as his demon father approached.
“Kordan, my traitorous failure of a son” The demons blood filled voice boomed “I will take from you the life you do not deserve.”
Kordan smiled to himself and leapt from the rocky outcrop, swords outstretched. The two met in a fury of claws and swords, blood flew high into the air from each person. Decades of bloodlust exploded within them and stole the pain from their torn flesh.
Larna removed the head of a nearby demon and looked with anguish at the gate, still unloading demons into the realm of man. The queen called down to her from her horse.
“We are neither demon nor lover. We can kill their form but not their soul…their numbers are infinite.” She said with defeat in her voice.
“Then we are already dead…and have nothing to loose,” growled Larna, impaling a nearby demon.
The human defensive line retreated slowly and the demons number remained the same. Morale fell and the ferocity of the human force faded fast. The planet gave an anguished scream, splitting its flesh further and swallowing large amounts of soldiers into an endless chasm.
Kordan flew high into the air was smashed back down again with a clawed fist. Veroth slammed a talon into Kordan’s back, causing him to cry out in pain. Blood gurgled in his mouth and his bones shattered.
“You are worthy of neither man nor demon, you are nothing” laughed Veroth, removing his talon only to replace it with one from the other foot.
Kordan’s vision faded and strange dream like images swam in front of his eyes. The torrent of visions washed in suppressed memories, and in the warm of a dying body, he floated in days lost.

Kordan stood outside a carriage containing the princess. He peered in through a gap in the door. He had heard much of the evil of the monarchy, which must be eradicated, and wanted to see this evil for himself. Instead, all he found was a filthy young girl cowering and crying for her mother in the corner. The little girl was so fragile and innocent she could never be used in the same sentence as the word evil.
He looked at the demons around him and wondered how none of them could see what he could see. He rested his horns against the side of the carriage and clenched his fist.
He could see a different power in this young girl, the power of being an individual, the power of not being a mindless foot soldier. She may be weak and unable, but she had the power to be herself, and live freely. Kordan desired this power more than strength and domination; he felt his hatred burn away and somehow found a disliking for the demons around him, for his family.
He spent weeks watching her everyday, Until one day he woke up to find his body was human, he had become more than a puppet, he had become what he desired most. Like any demon, he was the embodiment of his greatest wish.
Kordan dressed in a hooded cloak to hide his human form and made his way to observe the girl once more. Outside, the two guards grinned and licked their lips.
“Tonight, we get to have some REAL fun with her.” The first one said, licking his long pointed finger.
“I hope human females are as satisfying here as they are at home,” he said, fiddling with his fingers.
The image played in Kordan’s mind…the image of their desires being enacted upon the young girl. Barely thinking, he took his weapon and killed them both. More came, but he killed them too and threw open the door to the carriage.
The girl’s fearful eyes looked up at him.
The demon’s fearful eyes looked down at her.

Kordan roared out, remembering everything now. The demon within coiled around his heart and leant him its power. Horns exploded from his head and his skin turned like that of Veroth’s. The demon reborn lifted himself up and threw the talon from his back. The demon king looked at his son in disbelief.
Kordan roared and threw himself at his father…the lost rage of a demon rooting itself in the cold steel of Kordan’s sword.
Larna and the queen looked on at the two demons, dismayed at seeing Kordan loose the inner battle to the demon within. The queen suddenly charged her horse towards Veroth, tears streaming from her eyes. Larna ran after her, killing several demons on her way.
The queen’s sword sliced into the back of the demon’s leg and causing him to flinch slightly in pain. Veroth turned around and plucked the queen from her horse. The muscles in his forearm rippled as he slowly crushed her to death. Her armour began to bend and crack and she cried out. Larna tried to help but became entangled with demons nearby.
Kordan felt a strange feeling towards the girl that he had saved, he saw her watering eyes gaze beautifully into his, and he gazed back with the eyes of a man not a demon’s
Like it did long ago, the anger melted from him and a new form of infinite clarity fell over him. His strength went further than the mortal limits of rage and in a clean swipe, cut the demon in two. The queen fell into Kordan’s arms and she buried her head into his demon chest.
The demon gate began to crumble and fall. The legion scurried back into the gate before their link to the demon realm was lost. The remaining humans rejoiced at the demon retreat and began to celebrate.
The queen’s lips met Kordan’s and his body returned to that of a human. His face looked down at hers with love and confidence, and she broke into tears…knowing what he would ask of her.
“This world” He said to he quietly “does not need another demon”
“But you can live with me, you are immortal, you can spend an immortality in love isn’t that better than death?”
“I was his only heir…I am the demon king, they could come to claim me.” Kordan growled, letting her go.
“No!” She screamed through her tears “You just don’t have the guts to face up to your problems and your pain and live through them…you are a coward!” she fell to her knees in tears.
“Kill me!” he shouted to her.
The queen remained on her knees and Larna looked on with melancholy eyes. Kordan walked forward and placed a hand on her shoulder. She looked up to find him walking towards the crumbling gate.
She wiped away her tears so she could watch Kordan walk into the realm of demons, she stared at his boots and they made their final steps in the world of man. His hands raised into a halfhearted wave as he walked without looking back through the gate, moments before it collapsed behind him.
The sky turned blue and everyone began to survey the shattered world around them. The world would remain forever fearful, yet thankful, of Kordan, the Demon King, just as they always had done in the past.

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